Today I just received the email from Oracle that I've passed the Architect certifications. It was a great experience for me and I'd like to share with you some thoughts.
- I'm also a SCJP and SCWCD. All the study was Self-Study for all the Sun certifications. So the path that I would recommend to any person to get to SCEA is the natural one: programmer -> developer -> architect. Get certififed first as SCJP. Then get certified as a developer (SCWCD,SCBCD, etc). Then learn for SCEA.That would help you to understand things better. Just being a person without a few years of Java real programming experience and trying to certify as an Architect won't help.
- The Sun exams in general are a great experience - you learn something very useful, you structure your information when you learn; you have a global view - and for all the effort you are rewarded at the end! The exams never ask you to memorize things.
- For the specific Architect exam:
- part1 is the most difficult one. The questions are difficult and time is very limited.
- part2 was the most enjoyable for me. It was a real pleasure to work on the design for the assignment. The problem is not difficult, the types of diagrams you are asked to provide are basic diagrams (classes, component, deployment, sequence). There is nothing sophisticated required to model. Just keep it simple and clean. Document all logical assumptions you made when deciding associations between classes (1..n; n..n, etc). I did not chose any framework such as Struts/Hibernate/Spring; just standard J2EE components (JSP's, EJB's) and it was OK.
- part3 - do not underestimate it. Focus on the questions, try to write as much as possible (do not write 1 sentence per question!) and always think at your problem solution when answering. Justify your design in your answers.